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13th July 2017 I Industry Research

Indian Fertilizer Industry:

Insights and Prospects
- The Indian Fertilizer Industry has shown tremendous growth
in the last five decades and at present ranks third in the world.
- India is the second largest consumer of fertilizers after
- India also ranks second in the production of nitrogenous
Madan Sabnavis fertilizers and third in phosphatic fertilizers whereas the requirement
Chief Economist
of potash is met through imports since there are limited reserves of
91-022-6754 3489 potash in the country.

Urvisha H Jagasheth
Research Analyst According to the Food and Agriculture report world demand for total
91-022-6754 3492 fertilizer nutrients is estimated to grow at 1.8% per annum from
2014 to 2018. The demand for nitrogenous, phosphatic, and potash
Mradul Mishra (Media Contact) is forecasted to grow annually by 1.4%, 2.2%, and 2.6%, respectively,
91-022-6754 3515 during the period. Over the next five years, the global capacity of
fertilizer products, intermediates and raw materials will increase
further. The global demand for nitrogenous fertilizers is expected to
grow around 5.6% to 119.4MT in four years through 2018, according
to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Asian nations, led by China and India, are expected to account for
58% of this increase.

The fertilizer industry is considered to be an allied activity of the

Agricultural sphere. Farming and ancillary activities contribute about
1/6th to Indias GDP. Being an important industry to the Indian
economy, the government has ensured the availability of adequate
quantity and proper quality of fertilizers to the farmers. Also, to
make sure adequate control over its quality, price and distribution,
the industry is highly regulated under the Fertilizer Control Order,
Disclaimer: This report is prepared by CARE Ratings formerly 1985.
Credit Analysis & Research Limited. CARE Ratings has taken
utmost care to ensure accuracy and objectivity while developing
this report based on information available in public domain.
Types of Fertilizers
However, neither the accuracy nor completeness of information
contained in this report is guaranteed. CARE Ratings is not A fertilizer is a chemical product either mined or manufactured
responsible for any errors or omissions in
analysis/inferences/views or for results obtained from the use of material containing one or more essential plant nutrients that are
information contained in this report and especially states that immediately or potentially available in sufficiently good amounts.
CARE Ratings has no financial liability whatsoever to the user of
this report. Chemicals fertilizers are classified on the basis of quantum required
by the soil as Primary, Secondary and Micronutrients. Primary
nutrients are further categorized on the type of nutrients they
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supply to the soil which are as nitrogenous, phosphatic and potassic fertilizers. Secondary nutrients include calcium,
magnesium and Sulphur while micronutrients, include iron, zinc, copper, boron and chlorine. India is dependent on
imports for raw materials for production of Nitrogenous & Phosphatic fertilizers.

Product wise Chemical Fertilizers are classified into Urea, Diammonium Phosphate (DAP), Single Super Phosphate (SSP),
Muriate of Potash (MOP) and other Complex fertilizers like Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN) and various grades of NPK
Fertilizers (Fertilizers having different grades of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) ). In India the most
widely used fertilizer in the Nitrogenous category is Urea, DAP and MOP for Phosphorus and Potassium respectively.

Chart 1: Category- wise Production of Fertilizers


18% 19% 21% 21% 19%
80% 8% 8% 7% 10% 10%
10% 10% 9% 9% 11%

64% 63% 62% 61% 60%

2012- 2013 2013- 2014 2014- 2015 2015- 2016 2016- 2017

Urea DAP SSP Other Complex Fertilizers

Source: Department of Fertilizer, CMIE

During the FY 2016-17 India has produced 413.24 LMT of fertilizers. Urea dominates the total fertilizer production in the
country. While India is the worlds second largest consumer of urea, the Government of India is working towards increasing
the production of urea so as to end imports by 2022 and achieve self-sufficiency in Urea Production. Out of the total fertilizer
production India produces only 10%-12% of DAP but due to recent fall of raw material prices in the international markets,
phosphates have become cheaper and its economical to produce the fertilizer rather than importing the end product. Hence
the government is encouraging sprucing up the production of DAP, which is the second most widely used fertilizer after urea.
Production of Complex Fertilizers includes the various grades of NPK Fertilizers (Nitrogenous- Phosphorus- Potassic). The
Government is encouraging SSP production as SSP is also considered as a substitute to diammonium phosphate (DAP), which
is largely import based and costlier vis-a-vis to SSP.

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Production Capacity Installed.

Due to the support offered by the Government towards the growth of the Fertilizer Industry there has been a rapid build-up
of manufacturing units of Urea, DAP and other complex fertilizers in the country with investments in the Public, Cooperative
and Private Sectors. At present there are:

30 Large sized Urea Manufacturing units,

21 DAP and Complex Fertilizers units and
2 units which manufacture Ammonium Sulphate as a By- Product.
105 medium and small scale units in operation producing Single Super Phosphate (SSP).

Table 1: Sector-Wise Capacity of Fertilizer Manufacturing Units for 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 (figures in *LMT)

Sector Urea DAP and Complex Fertilizers

2015-2016 2016-2017 % Change 2015-2016 2016-2017 %Change
Public 63.09 63.09 0% 21.64 21.64 0%
Cooperative 54.19 54.19 0% 43.35 43.35 0%
Private 90.25 90.26 0.01% 79.05 81.01 2.48%
Total 207.53 207.54 0% 144.04 146 1.36%
Source: Department of Fertilizer
*LMT stands for Lakh Metric Tonnes

There hasnt been much of a change in the annual/reassessed capacity in the Public and in the Cooperative Sector where as
there has been a marginal increase of 0.01% in the Urea manufacturing units and an increase of 2.48% in the DAP and
Complex Fertilizer manufacturing units in the Private sector.

Under the New Urea Policy, the government has allowed the manufacturers of urea to produce additional quantity of urea as
part of its objective to boost indigenous urea production in the country. The ceiling imposed on production beyond Re-
Assessed Capacity during 2016-17 has been raised so as to enable all urea units to produce additional production which
otherwise they were not able to do so due to low Import Parity Price


Urea is an inexpensive form of nitrogenous fertilizer. Urea is synthetically produced in enormous quantities. Although urea
often offers farmers the most nitrogen for the lowest price in the market since it is heavily subsidized by the Indian
Government, it should be used judiciously to avoid the soil turning acidic in nature. Urea contains 46% nitrogen. Urea is the
only Controlled Fertilizer which means the Government controls the MRP of Urea. Currently Urea is priced at Rs 5,360 per

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Chart 2: Trends in Urea Pricing (Rs/Tonne)

5400 5310

5200 5030
5000 4830 4830
4600 4600


2000-01 2001- 27/2/2002 28/2/2002- 28/3/2003- 12/3/2003- 1/4/2010- 1/11/2012 till
27/3/2003 11/3/2003 31/3/2010 31/10/2012 Date

Source: Department of Fertilizer

The current MRP of Urea which is Rs. 5360 per MT is exclusive of the Central Excise Duty for the domestically produced urea,
countervailing duty for the imported urea (which is 1% at present) and state VAT (which again differs state to state.). (This will
change with GST). The MRP also includes:

1. Rs. 180/MT Margins for dealers belonging in the private and PSU sectors and Rs. 200/MT for dealers in the
cooperative sector.
2. Rs 180/MT is given as Retailer margins which help in acknowledging the receipt and reporting the stock.
Ever since the government has also mandated introduction of neem coating of urea an additional charge of an
extra 5% on the MRP of urea is charged by the fertilizer manufacturing companies.

Chart 3: Production of Urea in India (in units of LMT) Chart 4: Urea Imports by India (in units of LMT)

250.0 100.00
244.8 87.49
90.00 84.74
245.0 80.44
241.9 80.00
240.0 70.00
60.00 54.81
230.0 227.2 40.00
225.8 225.9
225.0 30.00
215.0 0.00
2012- 2013 2013- 2014 2014- 2015 2015- 2016 2016- 2017 2012- 2013 2013- 2014 2014- 2015 2015- 2016 2016- 2017

Source: Department of Fertilizer

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Chart 5: Trend in Urea Imports vis--vis Urea Production, FY 2012-13 v/s FY 2016-17




% of Production % of Imports

Source: Department of Fertilizer

Domestic urea production is growing at a stable rate of 1.74% CAGR from FY 2012-13 to FY 2016-17. There has been a slight
fall in the urea production y-o-y basis from FY2015-16 by 1.18% in FY 2016-2017. Urea production was the highest in FY 2015-
16. Domestic production of urea has been increasing indicating a trend of import substitution to be achieved soon.

The quantity of Urea imported also has fallen considerably from FY2015-16 by 27% y-o-y basis in FY 2016-2017. Chart 5 the
inner circle shows the urea production import mix of FY2012-13 and the outer circle shows the urea import production mix of
FY2016-17. From 26.3% in FY2012-13 import dependence has reduced to only 18.5% in FY2016-17 vis--vis production has
increased from 73.7% in FY2012-13 to 81.5% in FY2016-17, indicating that India is moving towards self-sufficiency of Urea
Production. India plans to eliminate imports by 2022. Presently India mainly imports Urea from China Oman and Iran.

Out of the 30 large-scaled Urea Manufacturing units 27 are gas based and 3 are naphtha based. Natural Gas is the preferred
feedstock. Natural gas is the key source of fertilizers in the form of Ammonia and Urea. Natural gas is preferred as:

1. It is intrinsically hydrogen rich and therefore contributes more hydrogen compared to other feedstocks on a
unit weight basis.
2. The heavier feedstocks like coal and oil are more complex to process and therefore the capital costs are higher
compared to natural gas.

Most of the Urea Manufacturing units in China are Coal based. China is also the worlds largest Urea exporter.

Chart 6: Trend in Domestic and International Natural Gas Prices (USD/MMBTU)

Domestic Natural Gas Price International Natural Gas Price

Source: PPAC and EIA

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With a fall in Natural Gas prices in domestic and international markets, there is a good opportunity for reducing the cost of
production of manufacturing fertilizers. It is estimated that for every 1 USD/mmbtu decline in gas prices, the total cost of
domestic urea production can reduce by Rs.4,900 crore. With urea farm gate prices capped at Rs.5,360/MT, any
variation in the cost of production is absorbed by government through subsidy.

Post July 1st with the introduction of Gas Pooling there has been uniformity in the prices of natural gas required by urea
producing plants as well.

Diammonium Phosphate (DAP)

Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) is a concentrated fertilizer with high phosphorus and nitrogen content. It can be applied
directly to soil of a mixture with other fertilizers and to all soil types. The best effects are achieved when applied prior to
sowing. The major consumption of DAP is met through imports in the country. DAP falls under the decontrolled fertilizers.
DAP and DAP blends are used on a range of crops in broad-acre farming, cereals, sugar cane, sowing pastures, dairy pastures,
fodder crops and also in horticultural crops; for example, vegetables and tree crops.

Chart 7: Production of DAP in India (in units of LMT) Chart 8: DAP imports by India (in units of LMT)
50.0 70.00
45.0 43.3 60.08
60.00 57.02
40.0 37.9
36.5 36.1
35.0 50.00
30.0 38.53
25.0 32.61
15.0 20.00
0.0 0.00
2012- 2013 2013- 2014 2014- 2015 2015- 2016 2016- 2017 2012- 20132013- 20142014- 20152015- 20162016- 2017

Chart 9: Trend of DAP Imports vis--vis DAP Production, FY 2012-13 v/s FY 2016-17

50.3 61.0 49.7


% of Production % of Imports

Source: Department of Fertilizers

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Domestic DAP production is growing at a robust rate of 4.41% CAGR from FY 2012-13 to FY 2016-17. DAP production levels
have risen y-o-y by an increase of 14.4% from FY2015-16 to FY2016-17 as there was a fall in the prices of raw materials
worldwide. The producers of DAP felt it was better to acquire the rock phosphate and phosphoric acid (key raw materials in
DAP) and produce the fertilizer in the country itself instead of importing the end product. Hence on the other hand DAP
imports by India have reduced y-o-y by a fall of 27% of the imports during the FY2015-16 to FY2016-17.

India imports DAP mainly from Canada, China, Jordan, Morocco, Russia, Saudi Arabia and USA. Chart 9 the inner circle shows
the DAP production import mix of FY2012-13 and the outer circle shows the DAP production import mix of FY2016-17. From
61% in FY2012-13 import dependence have reduced considerably to 50.3% in FY2016-17 vis--vis production has increased
from 39.0% in FY2012-13 to 49.7% in FY2016-17.


Potassium chloride (commonly referred to as Muriate of Potash or MOP) is the most common potassium source used in
agriculture, accounting for about 95% of all potash fertilizers used worldwide. Its nutrient composition is approximately:
Potassium: 50% Chloride: 46%. The demand of MOP in India is entirely met out of imports.

Chart 10: MOP imports by India (in units of LMT)

45.00 41.97
40.00 37.36
35.00 31.80 32.43





2012- 2013 2013- 2014 2014- 2015 2015- 2016 2016- 2017

Source: Department of Fertilizers

Mutriate of Potash imports have increased by 15.2% on a y-o-y basis from FY2015-16 to FY2016-17. India mainly receives
imports of MOP from Russia, Jordan, Israel, Canada, CIS + Belarus, Germany and Lithuania. MOP is used extensively for
fertilizing pastures, sugar cane, fruit trees, vegetables, and other field crops.


Single superphosphate (SSP) was the first commercial mineral fertilizer and it led to the development of the modern plant
nutrient industry and it is indigenous. This material was once the most commonly used fertilizer, but other phosphorus (P)
fertilizers have largely replaced SSP because of its relatively low P content. SSP is a phosphatic multi-nutrient fertilizer, which
contains 16% phosphate, 11% sulphur, 16% calcium and some other essential micro-nutrients. Because of the simple

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production technique, it is one of the cheapest chemical fertilizer available. It is more suited for crops like oilseeds, pulses,
horticulture, vegetables, sugarcane, etc and for Sulphur deficient soils.

Chart 11: Production of SSP in India (in units of LMT)

45 41.9


30 27 27 27




2012- 2013 2013- 2014 2014- 2015 2015- 2016 2016- 2017

Source: CMIE

SSP production is spurted a growth rate of 11.64% CAGR from FY 2012-13 to FY 2016-17. The level of production till FY2014-
15 is the same as it was made mandatory for the SSP units to utilize minimum 50% of their recognized production capacity or
to produce 40 LMT, whichever is less, per year to become eligible for subsidy under the Nutrient Based Scheme (NBS).
However this norm was lifted on March 10th, 2016. Hence there has been a pick up on Fertilizer production from FY2015-16
onwards. An increase of 8% production is noticeable on a y-o-y basis from FY 2015-16 to FY2016-17.

Government Initiatives and Subsides offered towards the Fertilizer Sector

The Fertilizer Industry is highly regulated and monitored by the Government of India. According to the FY2017-2018 Budget
Rs. 70,000 crores was allocated for the Fertilizer industry, to be given of as subsidies. The difference between the cost of
production which is higher than the price at which the fertilizer is sold is paid by the Government in the form of subsidies.

Table 2: Allocation of the Subsidy within the Fertilizer Sector

FY 2016-2017 FY 2017- 2018 Percentage Change

Urea 51,000 49,768 -2.41%
Based 19,000 20,232 6.48%
Total 70,000 70,000
Source: GOI

Even though the Budget allocation towards the fertilizer subsidy is the same, there has been a change in the allocation of the
subsidy, indicating that the Government is encouraging the use of the Decontrolled fertilizers (fertilizers under the Nutrient
Based Scheme). The MRP of Urea is fixed as it is controlled by the Central Government and the difference between the
maximum retail price (MRP) and the cost of production is reimbursed to manufacturers as subsidy by the central government.

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Now in the case of the decontrolled fertilizers the MRP is not fixed it is upon the manufacturers so as to how they want to
price it but the subsidy rate is fixed for each variant of the fertilizer group.

Nutrient Based Subsidy: Government of India is implementing the Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) policy w.e.f. 1st April 2010.
The NBS deals with 22 grades of decontrolled fertilizers namely DAP, MAP, TSP, DAP Lite, MOP, SSP, Ammonium Sulphate and
15 grades of complex fertilizers. These fertilizers are provided to the farmers at the subsidized rates based on the nutrients
(N, P, K & S) contained in these fertilizers. Additional subsidy is also provided on the fertilizers fortified with secondary and
micronutrients as per the Fertilizer Control Order such as Boron and Zinc.

The subsidy given to the companies is fixed annually on the basis of its nutrients content (i.e. Nitrogen, Phosphate, Potash
and Sulphur) on per kg basis which is converted into subsidy per tonne depending upon the nutrient content in each grade of
the fertilizers. Under this scheme, Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of fertilizers has been left open and manufacturers/marketers
are allowed to fix the MRP at reasonable level. These rates are determined taking into account the international and domestic
prices of P&K fertilizers, exchange rate, inventory level in the country.

Table 3: Per Kg Rates for Nutrients N P K S

Nutrient Type FY 2012- 13 FY 2013-14 FY 2014- 15 FY 2015-16 FY 2016-17 FY 2017-18
N 24 20.875 20.875 20.875 15.854 18.989
P 21.804 18.679 18.679 18.679 13.241 11.997
K 24 18.833 15.5 15.5 15.47 12.395
S 1.677 1.677 1.677 1.677 2.044 2.24
Source: Department of Fertilizers

The revision in the new subsidy rates is in line with changes in the input prices in the global markets. Hence the industry is
unlikely to face any inventory loss, due to reduction in the subsidy rates of P&K nutrients.

Table 4: Per MT Subsidy Rate for different P & K fertilizers

Fertilizer Grade(N P K S) FY 2012- 13 FY 2013-14 FY 2014- 15 FY 2015-16 FY 2016-2017
DAP (18-46-0-0) 14350 12350 12350 12350 8945
MOP (0-0-60-0) 14400 11300 9300 9300 9282
SSP (0-16-0-11) 3676 3173 3173 3173 2343

Source: Department of Fertilizers

New Urea Policy 2015: The New Urea Policy was introduced with the main purpose to ensure the maximum production of
indigenous urea by promoting the use of energy efficient feedstock which will help rationalize and bring down the subsidy
burden. The NUP focuses on making the domestic urea sector become globally competitive in terms of energy efficiency. It is
expected that there would be reduction in the subsidy burden of the government in two ways

Reduction in specific energy consumption norms and

Import substitution on account of higher domestic production.

It is expected that the new urea policy will lead to additional production of 1.7 LMT annually in the next three years. The
Union Government also subsidies the urea manufacturing units for the cost of transportation to facilitate the availability of
urea at the same maximum retail price all over the country.
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Neem Coating of Urea: As per notification Vide Department of Fertilizers dated on 25.05.2015 all the urea producers in
country had to mandatorily produce 100% of their total production of subsidized urea as Neem Coated urea. Use of neem
coated urea has also increased crop yield the output of crops by about 10% on average, according to statistics produced by
the food and agricultural ministry. It is the most cost effective way to preserve the Nitrogen component in the fertilizer. It is
estimated that spraying Neem oil slows the release of Nitrogen by 10-15%, thus, in effect, reducing the urea requirement to
that extent. The ministry found a 5.8% increase in paddy yield after the use of sprayed urea and increase of 17.5% in the yield
of sugarcane, yields of tur (a kind of pulses) and red gram jumped by 16.9% and that of soybean by 7.4% and corn to the
extent of 7.1%.

Neem coating of urea was introduced so it could aid save a substantial chunk of the Rs 55,000 crore subsidies given on urea
fertilizer every year. Since NCU cannot be used for industrial purposes, illegal diversion of subsidized urea to non-agricultural
use would not be possible. By curbing this illegal diversion of Urea for non-agricultural purposes, the government aims to
prevent subsidy leakages as subsidized urea from India was also getting transported illegally to other nearby countries.

This initiative has fostered rural employment amongst women who help in picking up the neem leaves and help in the
production of the neem oil and neem cakes.

Gas Pooling for the Fertilizer (Urea) Sector: Under this policy from July 1st 2015 onwards the Government of India proposed
pooling of Domestic Gas with Re-Gasified LNG which is imported. This would help provide natural gas at uniform delivered
price to all Natural gas grid connected Urea manufacturing plants. The cost of gas, which is the most important component
for production of urea, varies from plant to plant owing to differential rates at which imported LNG is contracted as well as
cost of transportation. The move would help bring down the cost of fuel. This move will help save about Rs. 1550 crores in
subsidy and help urea manufacturing plants focus on their core business operations.

As part of the plan, an Empowered Pool Management Committee was formed with representatives from the ministry of
petroleum & natural gas, department of fertilizer, department of expenditure, and GAIL (India). The committee would
approve the plant-wise gas supplies to be made under the gas pool mechanism. The department of fertilizer will also
determine the total requirement of natural gas. The ministry has proposed making GAIL the pool operator, to arrange
imports after considering domestic availability and averaging both the prices.

Direct Transfer Benefit in the Fertilizer Industry: The introduction of Direct Transfers Benefit in the Fertilizer Industry has
been a boon to the fertilizer sector. Under the DBT scheme the subsidy will be released to the fertilizer companies instead of
the beneficiaries, after the sale is made by the retailers to the beneficiaries. When DTB was introduced first in the fertilizer
industry the subsidy was given on the dispatch of the materials was from their respective factories. After a few revisions, on
the disbursement of the fertilizers the subsidy was getting paid at a railhead point or any approved godown of a district.

Now under the proposed new system, payment of subsidy is to be based on weekly settlement of claims from actual sales
data captured on POS machines after the sale is made by the retailers to the beneficiaries on submission of claims generated
in the web-based online Integrated Fertilizer Monitoring System (iFMS) by fertilizer companies. The DBT scheme should help
crub the issues relating to diversion and smuggling of urea.

Joint Ventures Agreements in the Fertilizer Sector

The Government of India is encouraging fertilizers companies to establish joint ventures abroad in Countries which are rich in
fertilizer resources for production facilities with buy back arrangements and to enter into long term agreement for supply of
fertilizers and fertilizer inputs to India. Fertilizers companies need Natural Gas, Ammonia, Phosphoric Acid, Rock Phosphates,

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and Sulphuric Acid as raw materials for production of fertilizers. Further, the Department of Fertilizer is also working with the
goal of having access to acquisition of the fertilizer raw materials abroad.

Chart 12: Prices of Raw Materials used for Fertilizer Production (USD/MT)


Phos. Acid (CFR) Rock Phos. (CFR) Ammonia (CFR) Sulphur(CFR)

Source: Department of Fertilizers

Prices of phosphoric acid has fallen by about 28% from USD 810/MT in December 2015 to USD 580/MT in April 2017. Rock
phosphates prices has fallen by about 18% from USD 146/MT in December 2015 to USD 120/MT in April 2017. Ammonia
prices has fallen by about 13% from USD 427/MT in December 2015 to USD 371/MT in April 2017. Sulphur prices have fallen
by about 32% from USD 143/MT in December 2015 to USD 97/MT in April 2017.

Table 5: Existing Joint Venture Projects

Sr. JV Project-Country JV participants with equity % Product and the Project status
1 Oman India Fertilizer Oman Oil Co. (OOC-50%), IFFCO (25%) & 16.52 lakh MT Urea & 2.48 lakh MT
Co.(OMIFCO), Oman KRIBHCO (25%) Ammonia.
Production started in the year 2006.
2 ICS Senegal, Senegal ICS Senegal and IFFCO consortium 5.5 lakh MT phosphoric acid. Production
already started.
3 JPMC-IFFCO JV, Jordan JPMC & IFFCO 4.8 lakh MT Phosphoric acid. Commercial
production started in December 2014.
4 IMACID, Morocco OCP-Morocco, Chambal & TCL 33% 4.25 lakh MT phosphoric acid. Production
each started in year 1997-98.
5 Tunisia-India Fertilizer GCT (Tunisia), CFL (Now CIL) & GSFC 3.60 lakh MT of Phosphoric
Company (TIFERT), Tunisia (India) acid. Commercial production started in
April 2014.
Source: Department of Fertilizer

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Table 6: Joint Ventures with countries which are still under consideration

Sr. Country Entities Product Offtake Agreement

1 Iran RCF, GNFC and GSFC from Urea and Ammonia 8.25 LMT per annum
Indian side and one prospective Ammonia and 12.7 LMT
partner from Iran per annum Urea
2 Russia NMDC, RCF, FACT, KRIBHCO, Potash 30 % stake in the
NFL and ACRON (Russia) fertilizer project
3 Canada RCF, FACT and ENCANTO Potash 1.8 Million tonnes per
(Canada) annum for 17 years
Source: Department of Fertilizer

Financials of 19 Fertilizer Companies

Chart 13: Operating and Net Profit Margins (in %)

12.0 11.0
10.0 9.1
6.0 5.3 4.9

4.0 3.3


2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17

Operating Profit Margin Net Profit Margins

Source: Ace Equity

The financials of the fertilizer sector is highly subjective as it dependent on the changes of government policies and
regulations. The profitability of the industry was affected during FY 2013-14 and FY 2014-15 as even though globally prices of
raw materials was falling, rupee was depreciating which has affected the profits of the sector as raw materials needed to
manufacture fertilizers are imported.

Gas pooling of urea was introduced on 1st July, 2015 which has helped in improving the operating and net profit margins from
FY 2015-16 onwards. Faster subsidy clearance is also one of the key reasons so as to an improvement in the profitability
companies operating in the fertilizer sector.

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Conclusions/ Outlook

The Government has been active in clearing outstanding subsidies while there was an outstanding subsidy of nearly Rs. 35,000
in FY2015-16, it has come down to Rs20, 000 crore in the last fiscal.

This has benefitted the fertilizer manufacturing companies as it has revived the operating and net profits of the
companies from FY 2015-16 onwards.

To achieve sustained agricultural growth it will require the following: improve productivity, diversify production towards high
value agriculture and shift a major portion of farm employment to non-farm activities. Raising productivity requires large
investments in Agri-R&D, irrigation and fertilizers and therefore it throws huge opportunities to the fertilizer sector.

This measure could also help in promoting a balanced use of fertilizes in the coming years. Though India ranks
globally the largest agricultural economy its crop yields remain marginal. The root causes could be attributed to
misuse of fertilizers by the farmers. Urea being cheaper than the rest of the fertilizers is the most used fertilizer. This
has caused the soils levels to deteriorate. The ideal NPK ratio is 4:2:1 whereas Indian soils the ratio is 6.8:2.7:1.

This would better sales of DAP and other Complex fertilizers. As soil health is a concern, the government introduced
the Soil Health Card.

Fertilizer production in India is growing at a CAGR of 4% from FY 2012-13 onwards. CARE Ratings Estimates that fertilizer
production would range between 460-470 LMT by 2020. Going forward the fertilizer sector is subject to tremendous growth
due to various factors.

The Make in India initiative is encouraging the production of fertilizers within the country to an extent the government
wants to eliminate the imports of urea by 2021 and make India self-sufficient.

The overall domestic production of fertilizers is has been up since the past 3 years and our imports are falling.

The Government has been very proactive by introducing reforms time to time to help pick up pace for the production
of fertilizers like under the New Urea Policy, the government is incentivizing production beyond reassessed capacity.

The Government along with cash rich PSUs in coal and oil sector are jointly investing over Rs. 50,000 crores to revive
closed fertilizer plants and setting up gas pipelines which would make India self-sufficient in Urea manufacturing.

The Government of India had introduced the gas pooling of urea on 1st July 2017.

Gas pooling for urea at the moment we are currently in the under the first phase in which is pooling of gas for existing
units along with the conversion of units, (Urea manufacturing units which use Naphtha as their feedstock) which will
be supplied gas as and when the pipeline connectively is established.

By 2018 India will be entering the second phase of the pooling of gas in which the requirements of existing units
(including conversion units) and proposed brownfield and Greenfield units will be considered.

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CARE Ratings estimates this will help urea manufacturing units as Natural gas is a preferred feedstock which will bring
down the cost of manufacturing domestic urea. Gas price pooling will also bring about energy efficiency.

It is estimated that for every 1 USD/mmbtu decline in gas prices, the total cost of domestic urea production
can reduce by Rs.4,900 crore. It will help in bringing down at least 8-10% of the subsidy allocation towards urea
from the budget which is given out as subsidies.

The Direct Transfer Benefit will soon be deployed across the country from August 2017 onwards, since the pilot projects have
indicated a success. The POS machines will capture details of the farmer, his aadhaar number, details of the retailer, the
product purchased, the farm land in which the commodity is used, health of the soil, land ownership details if available and
the opening and closing stock of every retailer.

This will help to bring soil health in focus and curb any pilferages and leakages in the subsidy reimbursement process
as every sale made will be recorded in the POS machine which in turn will make sure the manufacturer will receive the
subsidy in a day or two and it will ensure the fertilizer is received by the farmer himself.

Timely outgo of the subsidy will ensure the interest coverage of the fertilizer companies to reduce considerably which
will further revive the profits of these companies. DBT will also help in reducing the working capital pressures of these

With the recent farm loan waiver taking place and approved in the States of UP, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Punjab, we can
expect a financial relief towards the farmers. This could also have a positive effect on the fertilizer sector

IMD has also predicted a normal monsoon for this fiscal year hence proving it to be beneficial for the growth of the
fertilizer sector in the coming months, given there was a good crop year in 2016-17.

In the pre-GST regime, fertilizers attracted 4-8% indirect tax depending on the raw materials used and the states in which the
products were sold.

Now with the GST rollout Fertilizers will attract a 5% tax slab and the raw materials which are used for the
manufacturing of fertilizers are taxed under the 18% tax slab.

Farmers in states such as Haryana, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh will find the purchase of fertilizers expensive as earlier
they were exempt from VAT.

With raw materials being charged at 18%, an inverted duty structure is being created. This could lead to a potential
rise in the prices of the fertilizers. To ease the burden of the manufacturers, CARE Ratings believes that a revision in
the rate to 12% or 5% will benefit the manufacturers.

Industry Research I Fertilizer Industry

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